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Visitor Center in Trollskogen National Park

Öland, Sweden

1st prize in invited competition

Client: County Administrative Board of Kalmar

Area: 420 sqm

The trees, the sea and the forest glades are unique values of the Trollskogen Nature Reserve that are clearly reflected in the visitor center and its surroundings. The visitor center consists of an information node, an exhibition building and a weather cover which work together or separately depending on the center’s opening hours. From the information node hiking trails lead further out into the nature reserve.

The light building is placed in a glade at the forest edge, interwoven among the trees and gives views toward the forest.  Nature prevails on the site and the placement of paths and surfaces is decided according to natural clearings. The forest and underbrush surrounds the visitor center and over time will weave together the building and the landscape. The façade of the exhibition building is built up from gray limestone masonry set with thick joints. The façade work is a play on the limestone wall, typical of the horizontal landscape of Öland.

The interior exhibition rooms remind one of the large and small glades of the forest while also facilitating a flexible use of the space which can be subdivided in different ways. Views from the public areas capture the forest scenery and visually open the galleries to the outside.  Exposed concrete comprises the floor and ceiling while the room volumes are finished with vertical red pine plank, a material that harmonizes with the wooded setting and can be easily fixed or moved according to changing needs or the specific character of the exhibitions.

The building adapts itself in form and material to an atmosphere full of character that gives hints of what lies ahead - an unexpected forest glade.